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Should I do it?? [electrical conversion]

Legal Bill

Jedi Knight
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For years now I have debated converting my car to negative ground and installing an alternator, petronixs ignition, and find a tach that I can have converted to negative ground. I see that Moss now has a pricey alternator kit that includes an new engine side plate and an alternator with a fan and pulley that works with a 3/8 belt. It seems to solve all the problems I was worried about. Have any of you tried this kit? Is it time to pull the trigger?
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
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Hi Bill,

I totally agree with John that a negative ground conversion is beneficial and you can easily find a much less expensive approach then Moss. Unless you looking to compete in Concourse, a negative ground will allow much better sound systems, lighting systems and a number of other choices that are questionable for installations in positive ground invironments. Although the following document describes my conversion, there are a number of documents available to assist you at reasonable cost. However, it all depends on how creative you want to be and how much you want to do.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwqddve6a2OTT3VpTC1GS2lLaUE/view?usp=sharing

All the best,
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 
Last edited:

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
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Just do:
Petronixs Ignitionix.--DIY

Speedo can be updated by specialist

Generator can be RE-polarised--DIY

Turn Battery around-DIY

Add--Sport Coil & Electronic Fuel pump--DIY


YEAH! I know I'm Cheep. LOL
 

vette

Darth Vader
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Absolutely make the change. The possibilities are endlesss. I've got negative ground, alternator, two fuse blocks, auxilary driving lights, two separate power jacks for GPS, Cell Phone or I-pad. Never looked back and no electrical problems. I believe I got my bracket from Allen Hendrix of Hendrix Wire Wheel. He's a great help.
 

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CLEAH

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Bill, in the years since you have been thinking about it, have you ever regretted not having done it? Or has your car worked fine and as designed? I've never considered it because my car has always worked fine, as designed.
 

Patrick67BJ8

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Why change?
the best reason that I can think of going to a alternator and retiring the generator is that you will not find a generator on the road and have to send it to a shop that can repair it. Voltage regulators also go bad and a new/rebuilt generator can make your old voltage regulator go bad. If you get a alternator conversion from overseas it will have a alternator made from that country and maybe not available in this country.
BJ8: tach work needed to convert to neg ground.
Fuel pump: need neg ground one.
coil leads: need reversed.
turn battery around
Alternator: get one that has 1 Wire output.
 

steveg

Yoda
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1 wire output will not run your charge light. 2 or 3 wire will.
Also 1 wire requires a higher speed before it starts to charge.

Highly recommend a voltmeter as well - it will immediately tell you if the alternator isn't working.

Some online sources recommend having your alternator checked before installing - I'd do that with the Dynamator alts.
 

LarryK

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If you drive it pretty regular and want to add better lights, heated seats, USB, Bluetooth and more upgrades, the change over is worthwhile. Generators are easy fix on the road, if the spare brushes, etc. are packed in the road box with points, condensers and emergency parts. These older British cars were made to repair on the road. But, a well-driven regular driver, the upgrades do make life easier. Don't forget electronic fuel pump ( can't repair them on the road ).
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
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Bill,

If you like driving your car with little worry, then eliminate the generator and voltage regulator and go with a 2-wire alternator.

There will always be those uncertain individuals that will have concerns with reliability of any new ... or old technology. However, when was the last time you had an alternator failure on your daily driver or family car? For me, I just broke a CV half shaft during a snow storm on my 1999 Acura TL with 200K but still have not touched the alternator and only replaced its fuel pump at 160K. I don't carry spare parts or tools (other then to change a tire) in my Acura or other family cars and no one drives concerned without them.

So, with an alternator, electronic ignition and TSV-modified SU fuel pump, why would I not feel as comfortable driving my Healey without extras as well? Steve suggests installing a Voltage gauge to be aware instantly if the alternator is not working. I don't have a voltmeter or amp meter installed in any of my cars and have been fine being notified by the charge light. Yes, it would help if when I had a failure on the road, I had a spare in the boot to fix the problem. However, would I have the correct component when the failure takes place, the proper tools for the replacement, and a safe location and the physical strength to do the job?

Bill, go for the components that provide greater reliability. The beauty is the installation can be reversed if you ever want to compete in a Concourse event.

Don't worry and just enjoy your Healey.
Ray(64BJ8P1)
 
Last edited:

Patrick67BJ8

Darth Vader
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1 wire output will not run your charge light. 2 or 3 wire will.
Also 1 wire requires a higher speed before it starts to charge.

Highly recommend a voltmeter as well - it will immediately tell you if the alternator isn't working.

Some online sources recommend having your alternator checked before installing - I'd do that with the Dynamator alts.
Not so. Mine works like it should. I'm assuming that there is a wiring modification. I forget what I did, but I did it. I also gutted the voltage regulator and made some changes inside to it with a couple of wires.
 

steveg

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Not so. Mine works like it should. I'm assuming that there is a wiring modification. I forget what I did, but I did it. I also gutted the voltage regulator and made some changes inside to it with a couple of wires.

Patrick,
Respectfully must disagree. There is ample documentation online that a one-wire alternator only feeds the battery and any charge light is disconnected as it would run all the time.

Addendum: This forum talks about it though it doesn't say how. Seems like it could be done - would advocate not doing it because - why are you working so hard to save a couple of wires and lose some functionality???
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums/electrical/42563-one-wire-alternator-idiot-light-dash.html

This shows how it's done using a separate module to switch the light on and off - more complexity not less:
https://www.americanautowire.com/1-wire-alternator-charge-indicator-light/
 
OP
L

Legal Bill

Jedi Knight
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Yes, I have been thinking about this for a long time. Reasons that I did not do it yet are:

Concours restoration (or very close to it) would now be unoriginal. But I already started down that path with a spin on oil filter, and as others point out this would be reversible.

Could not find a kit that looked right. I've seen some conversions that just look like an old Chevy alternator was stove-bolted on to the existing brackets. The new kits look really good and come with a side plate.

Finding another tach to convert can be a drag and the cost of conversion bumps the price of the change higher.

Fuel pump would have to be replaced as well.

My reasons to change are outlined by others above. Better reliability, easy to install a sound system, higher output if I want better lighting, easy to install auxiliary ports for the phone.

As to my current experience with the car as is... No radio can be a drag on long drives, I'm always worried one of the electrical components will quit, I have to rely on the charge in my cell phone to last the day.
 

John Turney

Yoda
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Yes, I have been thinking about this for a long time. Reasons that I did not do it yet are:

Concours restoration (or very close to it) would now be unoriginal. But I already started down that path with a spin on oil filter, and as others point out this would be reversible.

Then make your conversion after you get your concours gold.

No radio can be a drag on long drives, I'm always worried one of the electrical components will quit, I have to rely on the charge in my cell phone to last the day.

If you have the concours cigarette lighter option, get a plug-in portable radio. As for the cell phone holding a charge for the day, I can have that problem too; some days it does, and some days it doesn't.
 

LarryK

Darth Vader
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There is a company that converts the generators into alternators. Power something. Costly but remains looking concours.
 
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